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Clayton St. John C of E Primary School

Growing together in God’s love

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At Clayton St John, English and in particular, reading is given a high priority in our curriculum as it is the ability to read and understand which opens up learning for children. We believe that in order to develop a love of reading, children should have access to high quality texts / literature to engage and support their learning. To begin this journey towards a love of reading, we begin through quality first teaching of synthetic phonics and use Read Write Inc to support this throughout our school. It is also important that children not only read to adults, but also experience being read to throughout school and so dedicated reading time is embedded into the timetable. This is in addition to daily reading lessons which are used to develop children’s fluency and comprehension skills. We also believe that a wide vocabulary is a vital tool in supporting children to access the whole curriculum and so we place a high level of importance on the knowledge and use of a range of vocabulary. Therefore the teaching of vocabulary is embedded throughout our phonics, reading and writing lessons. Our aim is that the children will develop their own style of writing, so to extend the children’s reading, writing and vocabulary skills, we have developed a 3-stage cycle of teaching for English. In conjunction with the use of High quality texts, this enables the children to develop their knowledge of different genres, a wide range of language features as well as developing their knowledge of a range of text structures. This is done through the use of drama, speaking and listening, spelling, punctuation and grammar, deconstruction and focused writing lessons.  We believe that reading and writing should go hand in hand to provide a purpose for writing and so our English cycles also embeds reading activities into this.  


We aim that all pupils:

  • Have an understanding of and can apply the use of synthetic phonics in their reading and writing.
  • Will develop a love of reading.
  • Have a wide range of vocabulary that enables them to access a wide range of literature.
  • Can read, understand and comprehend a range of texts.
  • Can draw on their own experiences and learning and embed them into their writing
  • Can write purposefully drawing on their knowledge of different genres and language types.
  • Develop their own style of writing.
  • Can use their reading, writing and phonetical skills throughout the English Curriculum


The National Curriculum states that English is a tool to support children in sharing their ideas and emotions to others through reading, listening and communicating. It states that Literature plays a key role in this and so we aim to give the children access to a range of literature that is of a high quality. Throughout the development of our 3-stage teaching cycle, we have carefully considered the aims of the National Curriculum. Our approach is intended to support the children in; reading fluently with a good understanding, to develop reading for pleasure as well as for retrieving information and in doing all this to eventually adapt their writing language and style to meet a range of purposes and audiences. This will support children to successfully communicate their own ideas.


Support Materials

To support our children in their love of reading and writing, we have a  range of reading materials in school. These include: Read Write Inc., Bug clubOxford Reading TreeRapidProject XCollins Big Cat and Literacy World.


How we do it: 

  • We teach synthetic phonics for all of our pupils from the Early Years throughout school.  
  • We support the use of phonics by developing spelling through the use of Spelling Shed.
  • Daily lessons of reading are taught that include a focus on vocabulary, fluency, expression and comprehension.
  • We use a 3 stage sequence of lessons to plan our medium/short term planning
  • We teach writing daily through the use of high quality texts.
  • We teach a range of genres by breaking these down, exploring them and then writing our own.
  • We encourage our learners to practise a variety of drama / speaking and listening activities to support their writing and understanding of texts.  
  • Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons are embedded into our English teaching cycle.
  • High quality writing is modelled regularly by our teachers.
  • Modelled writing and other activities are differentiated to support the needs of our children.
  • Our Clayton progression of writing is used to support planning and assessment of children’s writing